Thousands trapped on Iraqi mountain by jihadist soldiers are finally freed

Some of the many thousands of refugees trapped by the Islamic State (IS) on Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq have been rescued in the past 24 hours, a UN spokesman has revealed. Thousands of Iraqis from the Yazidi sect - one of the nation’s oldest minorities - have been in hiding without food or water on Mount Sinjar since Saturday - after being forced out of their homes by advancing jihadist militants. The UN’s David Swanson said that: “We’ve just heard that people over the last 24 hours have been extracted and the UN is mobilising resources to ensure that these people are assisted on arrival.”

Two days ago, a large aid package prepared by (Turkey’s disaster management agency) AFAD was thrown from Iraqi helicopters to Sinjar mountains from the air.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

The Islamic State regards the Yazidis, who are followers of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrianism and part of Iraq’s Kurdish minority, as “devil-worshippers”. Islamic State militants extended their gains in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing more towns and strengthening their presence near the Kurdish region in an offensive that has alarmed Baghdad and regional powers. Turkey, already housing more than a million refugees from the war in neighbouring Syria, is building a refugee camp in northern Iraq to try to provide aid on the Iraqi side of the border.